Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ten great hurricane reads

The writers at The Daily Beast came up with a list of "good book[s] about people enduring hurricanes and other aquatic misadventures," including:
Condominium and Cape Fear
by John D. MacDonald

The author of the Travis McGee mysteries wrote a lot of great pulp novels before he invented his bestselling detective. One of them formed the basis for the movie starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, where Mitchum plays devilish ex-con Max Cady (yes, remade by Scorsese with De Niro, and it’s a movie with a few good moments, but if you want to see pure evil burn right through the screen, you’ll have to go with Mitchum, abetted by one of Bernard Herrmann’s best scores), and yes, there’s a hurricane in it, too. Condominium is a much later MacDonald, a sort of bid to outdo Michener with a big novel about feckless developers on Florida’s Gulf Coast and the whirlwind they reap for building on the sand. The characters are cardboard, but MacDonald’s descriptions of a hurricane are as good as they come.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue